Saturday, October 13, 2012

Two Poems by Neil Ellman

Uncle Joe

(after the painting by George Condo)
Being who I am is one thing
trying to be another
I am what I am
the unrepentant me
who stumbles home
at dawn
hurls stale soliloquies
at the rising sun
and falls flat-faced
fully clothed
on the lawn
dreaming of miracles
another drink;
for better or for worse
I am the profligate son
of the universe
with as much a right
to my half-pint
of destiny
as any other man—
don’t preach to me
don’t sermonize
don’t tell me
how to live
my life.

Battle of Lights. Coney Island

(after the painting by Frank Stella)
It is here
along Surf Avenue
where the freaks of summer
showed off their alligator skin
fat bellies and beards
the pin-headed men
rode the Tornado
and black-habit nuns
fell from heaven to earth
on the Parachute Jump.
Under the boardwalk
I didn’t know her name
nor she knew mine
we saw chrysanthemums
and crosettes
explode among the stars
and felt their heat
in the sand
beneath our feet
a battle of lights
that would not go out.
Coney Island light
I knew you when
I saw you battle
for my soul
and now I know
it was then
that I was lost.
Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey. His poems, many of which are ekphrastic and based on works of modern art, appear in numerous print and online journals throughout the world. The latest of his eight chapbooks, Double-Takes, is available as a free PDF download at

No comments:

Post a Comment